Importance and Implementation of Public Relations Plan at Woolworths
PUBLIC RELATIONS PLAN FOR WOOLWORTHS
Public relations is one of the major aspects that the companies need to focus on in order to establish an effective client base. Public relation plan helps in the development of the marketing strategies of the company aligned with the organizational goals and objectives. The current study focuses on the necessity of effective public relations which is prior to establishing a new store of an well established supermarket chain. This PR report presents the possible media marketing strategies that can be acquired by Woolworths supermarket chain in opening a new store at a foreign market.
An effective public relation plan has the capability to create the necessary distinction between an effective campaign and failure. The effectiveness of a public relations plan primarily enhances the possible business planning of any organization. Both non profit and profit organizations can enhance their public relations activities through effective planning and can improve the methods and planning prior to effective public relations of the organization. The current public relations planning report is established upon the media activities of Woolworths Supermarkets and sheds light upon their intention to expand their business chain beyond Australia. Woolsworth is currently concentrating on the public relations in order to launch a new store in New Zealand. Prior to launching a store the company has planned a media release for the promotional purpose of their services that can effectively impact their marketing and sales outside Australia.
Figure 1: Woolworths logo
Source: (www.woolworths.com, 2017)
Research and development
It is important to effectively and efficiently manage the public relations and that can be achieved via analysing different aspect and attributes of the general public and customers of the company. A positive public relations helps in maintain the organizational reputation and positive image of the organization and it has proven to have effective results. As per the research on the current need of the target market, it has been found that there are many supermarket chains that are operating successfully in the country (Percy, 2016). However, these organizations do not offer the customers the facility of having home delivery services of the grocery and other retail items without availing the online shopping services. Woolworths is the one of the grocery retailers that operates through both online stores and supermarket stores in the shopping malls. As per their new scheme they are opening an independent store therefore, the facilities and the offerings of the subsequent organization need to reach the possible shareholders and the target customers effectively.
As far as Woolworths is concerned it has gained an effective brand image gradually and it is one of the most popular supermarket chains of the country. Currently this supermarket chain is operating through over 1000 stores in the country ( www.woolworths.com, 2017). Initially the company started with a limited company and did not concentrate on expanding overseas. However, with growing popularity and current market needs of the consumer service industry Woolworths intends to expand in New Zealand.
In the process of analysing the status of public relations of the organization it has been found that it used to trade under the name of Safeway in the Victorian locations and such stores have been the part of their rebranding plan. The company estimated almost five years for the rebranding purpose. However, the already existing stores in New Zealand operate under the name of Countdown. Until November, 2011 the supermarket brands used to operate as Foodtown and Woolworths which were rebranded as Countdown (www.woolworths.com, 2017). The fact that worth mentioning is that only one supermarket in New Zealand operates under the name Woolworths. However, in accordance with the current market needs the organization has felt the need of expanding the business in different countries and it has started acquiring the international market with a plan of launching a new store in New Zealand that can help in the identification of their brand name. In order to implement the plan effectively it is important to develop an effective PR plan that can help in the marketing of the organization according to the marketing needs of the subsequent country.
Woolworths is planning to open a new store in New Zealand. It is important to develop a focused and strategic public relations plan and prior to that is to understand the basic market needs. A strategic and focussed marketing plan is necessary in order to bring the business profitability. The primary market need is to understand the environmental PR especially crisis management, image creation and PR event management (Swann, 2014). It is an important aspect of a PR plan to cater the market specific needs of the company in a specific industry with significant environmental consequences.
New Zealand can be considered as a developing market of supermarkets. It is evident that there are many already well established supermarkets in the country. However, looking at the market of grocery chain New Zealand is a profitable option. The only Woolworths store at the Bayfare Shopping Centre has gained popularity in the recent years among the other supermarkets of the area. As the company intends to expand in New Zealand they need to overcome the challenges of the current market situation. In the 2013 and 2014 the supermarket industry’s performance has been marred in loses. Weak population and household income growth has however helped in the growth of the product sales volume growth. The revenue fell by 3.1% in the last two years. After that, a consistent modest growth has been noted by far in last year because of strengthening income and as per the assumption, the revenue can increase by 0.3 % over the five years.
Figure 2: Share of market
Source: (www.woolworths.com, 2017)
The consumer service market in New Zealand is growing and as opined by the experts the successful business operators of the market have gained advantage through effective proportioning. It has helped in building the image of the organization. While planning campaign for public relations for Woolworths it is important to analyze the stakeholders who are associated with this along with the target customers of the organization.
Figure 3: comparison among Australian food retail sector
Source: (, 2017)
- The market need of supermarket chains are growing in the country.
- As per the statistical data available consumer service industry is growing in the country.
- The possible challenges are the already existing other supermarket chains. As these supermarkets belong the parent country, they have a better understanding of the potential market needs and the customer behaviour.
- There are existing supermarkets in the country, therefore, it is important to focus on needs of the customers that are not met currently and the promotion needs to focus on those factors.
Woolworths is opening a new store and the company needs to execute a campaign on the public relations and it includes using several media techniques like press conference, media releases and social media marketing (Percy, 2016). In association with the market needs of the supermarket chains it is evident that the PR plan needs to focus on the following objectives:
- To identify the effective aspects associated with public relations and how effectively they can influence the accumulated revenue of the company
- To improve the marketing and the promotional strategies in order to launch the new store
- To utilize effective media marketing techniques in order to maximize the growth of the company
- To analyze the perceptions and perspectives of the different customer segments in order to take effective steps prior to the decision making of the company
- To spray awareness among the target audience about opening of the new store
- To inform the customers of the offers and the speciality services of the organization
- To attract the shareholders and the suppliers
- To establish a successful branch of the supermarket chain in New Zealand
- To influence the audience by effective promotion via media activities, press releases and social media marketing
- To inform the audience of the effectiveness f the services that is offered by Woolworths.
- As there are already established supermarkets operating in New Zealand it is important for Woolworths to promote their trademark and in order to get selected by the target customers, it is potent to prove themselves as a store that can offer something different.
The target market of the PR campaign are the relevant audience who are to be influenced and impacted by the press release and other media activities used by the companyin order to promote their new store (Percy, 2016). As they already have a store in the market it is important to position their new store accordingly so that the existing customers of the organization do not get divided. Rather than that the promotion needs to be done in a manner that can effectively attract new customers. The promotional activities need to be planned keeping in mind the possible shareholders of the company, suppliers, producers, related parties involved in the organization along with In the campaign of Woolworths there needs to be an effective understanding of the stakeholders and the target market that indicates the market the company is planning for further development.
The target publics have been selected in order to increase the estimated revenue collection of this particular organization from the selected market (Holtzhausen & Zerfass, 2013). Along with that there is a segment of the customers that have the potential of being consumers of this particular organization. For instance there is a group of customers who are willing to avail the services of the supermarkets but need to be convinced to choose this particular organization. Another segment of the customers who are comfortable in online shopping, it is important for the campaign to be effective enough in order to convince them accordingly, so that, they can be aware of the facilities of the services that Woolworths plans to offer. Despite the possible customers, future shareholders and the suppliers are also targeted by the campaign, as the moot concern is to advertise this brand effectively in order to operate successfully in the country.
It is important to strategize accordingly in order to execute the activities of the media campaign. The strategic plan is prior in the decision making of an organization and it needs to be versatile. Effective marketing and promotions demand adaptation of innovative strategies by the company. As far as Wollsworths is concerned, it has planned effective marketing and promotional events in order to establish a new international marketing chain to a foreign country (Grunig, 2013).
Before analyzing the marketing plan of the company, it is important to understand the effectiveness of their strategy development. In Australia, the marketing and promotion of this company have proved to be successful because f their cultural understanding.in order to produce effective business strategy for a new market it is important for the marketing and promotional strategy to be sound and also needs to be aligned with the cultural requirements of the target country. The moot strategies that the company has considered are:
Woolworths has been effectively analysing the organizational and the business marketing goals that are to be achieved. The PR objectives and aims are to be based upon the business marketing goals set by the company. These goals have been considered by experts as realistic and measurable in nature. The company is focussing on techniques and putting efforts in order to achieve the organizational goal that are determined by the organization.
This is an important strategy attained by the company. In order to develop a customer base in the new market the company has undertaken several procedures in order to analyze several factors and aspects which are related to the competitive competitors (Holtzhausen & Zerfass, 2013). The company has effectively analyzed different aspects that are associated with the business environment of the company in order to understand the market needs. Current market needs is one of the potent variables that need to be evaluated prior to the decision making process of any company.
Effective communication is one of the potent factors in establishing good public relations with the customers and the shareholders. As Woolworths plans to expand their business overseas, communication can prove to be one of the major challenges (Swann, 2014). It is true that language barrier is not prominent in the two countries and cultural similarity is also noticeable. Although as a matter of fact effective public relations are based upon strong communication and it is one of the major look out of the company to strategize the business communication effectively for better advertisement and promotion of their new store. Communication gap can have adverse effect over the opening of the new store and it can hinder the process of creating a loyal customer base for the company.
There are various campaign tactics that can be adopted in the promotional activities of the company. With the technological advancement, there are several advanced media technologies that can be incorporated in the campaigning program effectively and have the potential to majorly affect the positive campaigning of the new store (Swann, 2014). The following media techniques can be incorporated by Woolworths in their promotional activities:
It is evident that the consumers are very much media oriented in the society and media can influence the consumers both positively and negatively. It is important to understand the importance of establishing a positive brand image through media based PR activities. Effective communication is important for establishing a new store in a new target market. As Woolworths already has a market in New Zealand, they understand the market needs and customer requirements ( www.woolworths.com , 2017). Therefore, they can effectively anticipate the customer reactions to their media campaigns. Media campaigns can be organized in the public places mostly in the shopping malls in order to attract the attention of the customers. Social and economic participation of the company is required in order to build sound public relations.
Press release is considered to be one of the major techniques that helps in the promotion of the new store. Social experts have considered press release to be one of the crucial techniques that helps an organize to connect to a vast number of audience or a large number of people simultaneously (Smith, 2013). It can be achieved through the medium of media statement, announcement or press statement that can be directly addressed to a group of people that includes the members of the company (Gregory, 2015). It is important to remember that this technique helps in announcing something which is newsworthy can prove helpful in the positive publicity and facilitate the process of opening a new store.
Social media marketing is considered to be one of the most advanced and technologically modern technique that effectively helps in the promotion. This technique indicates at using social media websites for the communication with the target group. It is one of the most cost efficient techniques that can be availed by an organization. Social media marketing is both cost efficient and effective (Grunig, 2013). It is helpful in communicating with people from different parts of the world and helps in achieving recognition in the global market. In comparison to press release social media marketing is more modern and also aligns with the inclination of the consumers.
News conference is a technique that allows the companies to announce their mission, vision, goals and objectives. It is important in establishing positive public relations with the media. This process includes press conference in which journalists ask questions to the mouthpiece of the company (Olasky, 2013). The major role of the business authority in this case is to provide the audience with relevant information regarding the operations of the company and the innovative services that can help the company to stand out in the market. Such discussions are prior in the process of establishing effective communication with the projected customer base of the company (Kärrholm, 2016). Sometimes the media arrange a joint conference, it includes more than one company, and they question each other. Though the fact is that due to lack of resources it is difficult to arrange such activities.
Media releases are effectively used as the marketing strategy. Opening a new store requires effective marketing in order to establish a new customer base. Evidently, media releases are one of the major strategies that Wollsworths can use in order to promote the new store. Media releases provide the opportunity to the company to reach their target public effectively (Kunczik, 2016). Media releases widen the scope for the company o reach a large number of customers. In such media releases a company can shed light upon its activities, services, aims and objective in order to catch the eye of the customers and the necessary shareholders. Media releases are effective but is considerably costly and demand several resources other than the capital.
Before opening a new store, a media release can help Woolworths to bring forth their aims and objectives along with their innovative and new services to the audience. Another important factor is that media release also help in gaining the attention of the shareholders which is important while starting a new store.
Deciding budget is a critical factor of PR planning. Several methods can be used in order to determine the promotion budget. The simplest method that is previously applied by Woolworths is using a percentage of last year’s sales in the promotional purpose of the new store. The drawback of this particular budgeting process is that it does not take into account the changes in the market or the unexpected circumstances (Austin & Pinkleton,, 2015). Because of its simplicity, this method is considered as one of the most effective methods.
A more rational and ideal approach is the objective and task method. In this method marketing managers initially determines the objectives that they want to accomplish. Then the budgeting is done on basis of each activity such as commercials and sales promotions. In case of Wollsworths as it has a well established business chain in Australia it can use a percentage of their profit for the promotional purpose of their store opening.
In regards to the Public relations report it is evident that considering the market needs of consumer service industry of New Zealand public relations can be established with several tools and techniques. Depending on the profitability and the productivity, the media marketing and promotional techniques required to be considered. It is important to understand the limitations of the media campaigning in order to overcome the subsequent challenges effectively. Innovative marketing and well structured marketing plan are the moot requirements in order to successfully operate a new grocery and retail store in the competitive market of New Zealand.